It’s been awhile. I haven’t picked games since Week 7 – sometimes life gets in the way of blogging.
And a lot’s happened since then.
Sheesh. A lot happens between game picks, huh?
So it is.
And what we’ve learned since then is that The League is clearly in transition. Also, this is becoming known as being the year of attrition.
I say that because a significant injury has affected several Divisions in The NFL. And these developments have created quite an opportunity for some up-and-coming Contenders this year. Consider this:
- Do the Minnesota Vikings sit atop the NFC North if Aaron Rodgers isn’t sidelined with injury? Him falling opened that whole thing up.
- Richard Sherman getting hurt may change Seattle’s season. Now, making The Playoffs could be in question for the Seahawks.
- Miami losing Ryan Tannehill ended a promising season for the Phins before it could begin (although they might make a back nine charge).
- Houston was poised to take the AFC South until their Quarterback was injured. Now that Division is up for grabs.
- Even though it’s not an injury, losing Elliot hurts The Hated Rival in The East. Will that alter the standings?
The aforementioned circumstances create a significant void. The question of the moment is which team(s) are poised to capitalize upon these developments.
Sunday’s games will help to provide the answers.
Now let’s pick some games.
(NOTE: these Point Spreads are courtesy of ESPN)
Green Bay vs Chicago (-5½) (over/under 38)
The Rivalry Game! Honestly, I never really felt this rivalry because it seems like all that happens is one team beats up the other (that’s usually in the toilet). But this one’s gonna be good because the Packers have fallen to the Bears level. I know that’s a twisted way of looking at it, but intrigue is intrigue. Doesn’t matter how you get there. As for the matchup, I really respect Green Bay for showing a commitment to the guys on this roster. But at this point, all they’re doing is getting Hundley some valuable experience. The Bears on the other hand need to take advantage of this enormous opportunity. They can get outta the cellar here. And if they can get hot, their schedule is awfully favorable. We’ll see what they’re made of Sunday.
Bears take care of business at Home and cover.
Green Bay 12
Chicago 20 ✓
Pittsburgh (-10) vs Indianapolis (o/u 45)
I think we agree that Pittsburgh is the superior team here. They are running away with the AFC North & could possibly be the best team in The AFC right now. The Steelers should Win the ballgame. But will they cover? I don’t think so. Honestly speaking, I think that Chuck Pagano will be the 1st Coach fired on Black Monday. But that doesn’t mean the Colts (as a 10 Point Home Dog!) will lay down to the Steelers. Jacoby Brissett is starting to play pretty well. The man just needed someone to give him an opportunity (and Indianapolis has no other choice). So this is me showing faith in the kid: him & T. Y. Hilton keep things interesting, but ultimately fall to the better team.
Steelers Win a game “closer than the experts think”. Take the over. ✓
Indianapolis 34 ✓
New Orleans (-3) vs Buffalo (o/u 46.5)
In the only matchup of the week featuring teams with Winning Records, New Orleans enters Week 10 as The Road Favorite. And I find this line to be very surprising. Yes, the Saints have a great record. And this year they’ve got a Top 15 Defense (which has got folks talking). But I dunno. Outside of beating the Panthers in Carolina, my feeling is they’ve taken advantage of a favorable schedule. The teams they’ve beaten otherwise are Miami, Detroit, Green Bay<–(1st Opponent after the Rodgers injury), Tampa Bay, and Chicago. The Bills, on the other hand, took down Denver and Atlanta–while both were still undefeated. In my view, the Bills will prove to be the better team. And I NEVER trust Dome Teams facing quality Opposition outside in the cold. The Gametime temp will be around 42° and slightly breezy. That’s Bills weather. And I got em Winning.
Buffalo beats the spread at Home.
New Orleans 18
Buffalo 22 ✓
The Hated Rival vs Atlanta (-3) (o/u49)
Now we get to see how good those Texas bastards really are after their Running Back’s suspension was reinstated (That whole thing is ridiculous – I refuse to follow it). On The Field, The Rivals will have to contend with an Atlanta team that has been reeling, having lost 3 of their last 4. And all the Falcons have been hearing is how much of a fraud they are – and at 4-4, they have to make a move if they expect to play football into January. That’s why Atlanta’s gotta have this one. I like the Falcons to cover for no other reason than they need to capitalize on a weakened opponent. And after their recent struggles, I think they do exactly that on Sunday.
Hated Rival 14
Atlanta 31 ✓
New York(N) (-2½) vs San Francisco (o/u 42)
Yes, I’m picking the toilet bowl. And for my money, this is an interesting ballgame. Not only is New York having the season from hell, they’re having the week from hell too after that humiliation against the Rams. It got so bad for them that there was rampant speculation about their Head Coach’s job during the week! I love it. On the flip side, Frisco lost Pierre Garçon to injury and traded for Jimmy Garoppolo in recent weeks. And while the Giants have the better record (at least they’ve Won), these teams are clearly going in different directions. In saying that, I also must admit how impressed I’ve been by Kyle Shanahan. This dude has kept the 49ers playing hard and competing to the best of their ability every week. And when you’re losing, that’s not easy to do. But I’ve got all that hard work paying off for San Fran this week. The Niners Win the toilet bowl!
49ers are not the weakest team. The Giants are. 9ers beat the spread.
New York(N) 27
San Francisco 30 ✓
Sorry about the delay on the picks folks. That’s a one time hiccup. Now c’mon Sunday. Hurry up and get here.
My Season so far
ATS: 9-23 (the line’s been kicking my ass)